OTTAWA-The prime minister Justin Trudeau apologized Monday, not to be removed from the discussions surrounding the award of a contract without tender to the organization WE Charity, after a number of weeks to be mired in a case of the appearance of a conflict of interest.
“I understand that this is a situation where I would have had to remove myself from the beginning because of the involvement of my family. I didn’t do it”, he repeated several times in a press conference in front of his residence at Rideau Cottage, Ottawa.
“I should have and I regret it deeply,” insisted Mr. Trudeau, arguing that his involvement with youth in her heart and goes back well before his political career.
The liberal leader is under pressure of questions on the topic for two weeks, or as soon as the announcement that We Charity (UNITED in French) would administer the program, $ 900 million of scholarships for students deprived of an income because of the COVID-19.
Margaret Trudeau, mother of the prime minister, earned $ 250,000 for her participation in events organized by the organization between 2016 and 2020. Alexandre Trudeau, for its part, received $ 32,000 for his contribution to the organization, while his brother was at the head of the government.
Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the prime minister’s wife, she was also directly involved and would have been remunerated by the organisation in 2012.
Mr. Trudeau has stated, Monday, that he did not know “the details” regarding the remuneration paid to the members of his family by WE Charity at the time to approve the awarding of the recent contract to the organization. He in the same breath argued that it would have had to be aware of and withdraw from the recent discussions.
A little earlier, the conservatives demanded an emergency meeting of the parliamentary committee of ethics to shed light on this matter. The federal commissioner, the ethics, Mario Dion, survey of his side on the folder.
“The revelations that the family of Justin Trudeau was paid to speak at events of an organization that received a sole-source contract of $ 900 million are extremely disturbing,” said conservative mp Michael Barrett in a press release.
All of this happens while the body We Charity denies having received a pass right, but admits to a few mistakes.
In a letter published Monday on the website of the organization, the co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger recognize that Margaret and Alexandre Trudeau would not have had to be paid by funds for the charity.
“Once we learned that the charity had paid some of his speeches, the error was identified and the charity has been refunded. However, the error would not have had to occur and we apologize for the inconvenience”, can we read in the letter.
In addition to the revelations about Trudeau, it was also learned last week that the daughters of the minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, are related to We Charity. One of them is even a paid position.
-With Étienne Paré, QMI Agency